Skip to main content

After Texas boy's death, Russian official continues call for ban on adoptions

By Phil Black, CNN
updated 9:33 AM EST, Thu February 21, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Russian child advocate speaks at news conference
  • Astakhov's statement echoes others who have blasted the U.S. recently
  • The advocate also asked for the boy's brother to be returned

(CNN) -- A Russian government child advocate said Wednesday he may have spoken too soon when he said a 3-year-old adopted boy who died in Texas was "killed" or "murdered."

At a press conference Wednesday, Children's Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov said he tweeted those words based on the initial reports he received about the death. With the investigation still going, he's now simply saying the boy "died."

Still he said, he wants his country to ban all international adoptions of Russian children.

Astakhov's statement echoes others who have blasted the United States recently, and it continues an ongoing adoption battle between the once-Cold War foes.

Russians meet with adoptive parents of dead boy

Russia PM: Adoption crisis 'complex'
Russian adoption ban hits U.S. families

The 3-year-old's death has also thrown into jeopardy America's efforts to push through more than 500 adoption cases in which American families had already begun the process before Moscow in December passed a law banning adoptions by U.S. citizens, the State Department has said.

That pending law would ban adoptions by Americans ostensibly because of documented cases of abuse by adoptive parents. But critics say the Russian move is in retaliation for a U.S. law that places restrictions on Russian human rights abusers.

The boy was born on January 9, 2010, and died on January 21, 2013, Russian officials have said. They have also implied that the boy may have been beaten.

Authorities in Texas have not released such details but have called the death "suspicious." They have also offered some specifics.

Russia decries death of adopted boy in Texas

The child was found unresponsive at his residence and his mother called 911, Ector County Forensic Death Investigator Sondra Woolf said. He was pronounced dead by an emergency room doctor, she said.

Autopsy reports are still pending.

While softening his language about the boy's death, Astakhov made more demands at the news conference Wednesday.

The child advocate asked that the boy's younger brother, who was adopted by the same Texas family, be returned to Russia.

Moscow: Americans can adopt Russian kids until 2014

CNN's Zarifmo Aslamshoyeva and Chandler Friedman contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
updated 8:02 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about the delicate business of trying to get a hostage home alive.
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
The accidental killing of a gun instructor raises an "absurd question," writes Mel Robbins.
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
ISIS has made surprise gains in Iraq and Syria in recent months, but may begin to suffer setbacks on the battlefield.
updated 2:44 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
The fear of Russian invasion is receding but peace may still be tricky to find.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
updated 5:57 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
The signs exist that indicate U.S. airstrikes into Syria are on the way.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT